BY YANEEK SMITH, BEACON CONTRIBUTOR
PORT CLINTON — The Port Clinton Redskins shot themselves in the foot a number of times in the first half on Friday night by turning the ball over and committing costly penalties, but ultimately they recovered and defeated Rossford, 40-14, at True-Lay Stadium.
Trailing 14-7, the ‘Skins responded with a vengeance and scored 33 unanswered points to take control of the contest. The first of those scores came when Cam Gillum found Tyler Webb on a short route over the middle and Webb took it the rest of the way to score a 62-yard touchdown with 4:26 to play in the first quarter. The extra point was blocked, leaving the Bulldogs (1-1) with a one-point lead, but the momentum had clearly swung in Port Clinton’s favor.
The ‘Skins (2-0) took the lead for good on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Gillum to Josh Hurst to push the lead to 19-14 with 15 seconds to play in the first quarter. Andrew Hanson’s extra point was good, pushing the lead to six points, and Port Clinton never looked back.
The ‘Skins added a touchdown just before the half on a 15-yard throw from Gillum to Hurst, who made a leaping grab, giving Port Clinton a 27-14 lead after two quarters.
The Redskin defense gave up its share of yards, but it bent without breaking and allowed just 14 points. Hurst and Cornell wreaked havoc for the duration of the game, sniffing out screens and tracking down Bulldog ball carriers.
“We started off slow as a team,” said Port Clinton coach Beau Carmon. “We pitched a shutout in the second half. A lot of that has to do with the veterans. Garrett (Cornell) did a nice job of reading their screens. I think it says something about our defense that we were able to hold Rossford to just 14 points.”
The third quarter was a defensive struggle and neither team scored, and Port Clinton added two touchdowns midway thru the fourth to put the game out of reach.
Gillum had a great game, completing 16-of-20 passers for 308 yards and five touchdowns and an interception. Hurst caught six passes for 81 yards and three scores and returned an interception 17 yards for a touchdown. Tyler Webb had a fantastic performance, catching five passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns.
“They’ve worked on building their chemistry together,” said Carmon. “They take a lot of pride in blocking for each other. They’re fun to watch.”